mjg74 (2492) - La Mesa, California, USA - SEP 13, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from Windy City Liquor. Very dark in color upon pouring. Somewhat sweet hoppy aroma. Smells like a hoppy ale. Quite hoppy in flavor. Dominated by bitterness with a roasty malty flavor underlying. Like a really hopped up stout.
SamuraiArtist (292) - portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 13, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Pours a dark almost black brown, totally opaque with a big fluffy grayish tan head. Aroma of some roasted malts and floral hops. Flavor is maltyand roasty. Chocolatey and creamy body and flavor with plenty of hops to go around. Medium bitterness. Hops are pretty much all floral and flowery with a slight hint of citrus mostly obscured by the roasty coffee and chocolate. I am amazed at how well these flavors go together.
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - SEP 13, 2007
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 27, 2008 Pours nearly black with deep garnet highlights to the lights with a beige, mostly full, creamy-pillowy head; longevity is great and lacing is appealing. Nose is decent and quite fragrant with noticable alcohol; notes of pine, grapefruit peel, dark chocolate, and toasted notes with a hint of smoke. Flavor is less like an IPA then the nose would have suggested, it has more malt depth. Pine is noticed first but filters into the background behind grapefruit and grapefruit rind, burnt caramel, and dark chocolate. As the flavor progresses, the malts become darker and almost roasty in character and the hops keep lingering pine resins and grapefruit peel. Palate is prickly at the start, moderately full, soft to lively, warm, and round, a bit velvety. Palate would be perfect for an IIPA but seemed not quite enough to handle the dark malt notes. By the finish the pine is almost cedar-like, grapefruit peel is still there, and a smoke note is found as well; also, the light roast adds to the hops and decent alcohol warmth to create a moderately high, somewhat dry bitterness. Black IPA (or IIPA) is a great description as opposed to Imp stout or Baltic porter; the hops donít just add bitterness but plenty of complexity as they do in IIPAís. Certainly unique and well constructed with dark malt depth and plenty of hop character. Stone just continues to extend the boundaries of beer styles.
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - SEP 12, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz bomber. Surprisingly dark beer. Pretty solid in terms of appearance. The flavor is essentially a hoppier version of Arrogant Bastard. Whats most amazing about this beer is that I put down this bomber in a matter of minutes and was surprised to read that this is nearly 9% ABV The alcohol is REALLY well hidden. Again, Stone shows why they are a leader in the craft beer market.
jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - SEP 12, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep brown/black. Nice head and lace. Nose of resiny hops, fat malts with hints of toast and roast and a wee bit of chocolate. Full bodied, well developed malts but make no mistake, its a hop bomb, the burps start immediatley. Very nice twist on things, the slightly sweet dark malts and mild roast really do balance and add nice character. Nice job!
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - SEP 12, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber from MCAS Miramar Marine Mart: The darkest of brown, almost black with a medium light brown head. Aroma is barley wine sweet like an imperial IPA with a touch of pine. Flavor starts rich and sweet with a little burnt caramel followed by a light porter like bitterness, a hint of chocolate and a kinda dry grapefruit rind finish. Medium-full body is rich and smooth with moderate carbonation. Good job Steve!
Goblincat (382) - Westland, Michigan, USA - SEP 12, 2007
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a nice deep brown with a thin brown head. The aroma is a mix of hops and a light amount of citrus. The taste is a hoppy, grapefruit, and a bit of roasted malt.
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - SEP 12, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle: Pours a dark brown with a khaki head. Some lacing. Aroma, piny, caramel, toasted malts, some citrusy hints. Flavor, caramel, light roasted flavors, with a nice piny hop kick. Sweet with a nice hop kick to it, roasty, piny bitterness on the finish. Very enjoyable.
MrBendo (1064) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - SEP 12, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUN 14, 2009 New bomber - Stone 11th Anniversary. Deep brown pour, opaque in the glass. Medium head, fair lacing, little retention. Aroma is piny hops and dark roasted malts. I was a little worried that this was going to be another highly hopped stout like FFF Black Sun, since the commercial description mentions stouts and porters. But happily, itís not.
Taste is hop forward, with roasty malts coming after. Pine and citrus with roasted, coffee like malts. Malts are very subtle, but definite, and add an unstout like roastiness. Unique. Very tasty. Stoneís still got it!
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - SEP 11, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown, with a full tan head. Ample aromas. Flavor combines dark fruits, light roast from the malt, with citrusy, rich hop flavors. I usually donít like big roast and hops, but this is different and in itís own league. Tastes similar to Double Bastard and Arrogant Bastard to me. Stone is right, the malt and hops are both well pronounced, but they donít clash at all. Very nicely balanced, as well as a "Black IPA" can be...this beer feels refined in every way.